Since 2016, I embarked on a portrait project called “Hearts on Our Sleeves, gender expansive community in America”.
While we have made strides in equality and human rights, trans people are still being ostracized, and crude demonizing caricature of trans people is used by politicians to advance divisive agendas. The homicide and suicide rates for trans people, especially among teens, are much higher than average.
People born in bodies that don’t match their brain’s gender, people who don’t adhere to binary archetypes, and people who are intersex. They are members of the gender expansive community. They come from all walks of life, and want to live a good life like everyone else. Some recently transitioned, some a long time ago, and some are just comfortable being gender non-binary. They know who they really are, despite those who might want to dictate who they should be.
This project was started in 2016 when the rhetoric of “bathroom issues” thrusted the transgender human and civil right issues to the forefront of American psyche. The goal of the project is to tell their stories. By using 4×5 cameras, I can spend time to connect with the subjects and learn their stories. These stories of marginalized people need to be told, and be told in a respectful manner.